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Did Simvastatin (Zocor) Cause Back, Hip, Leg Pain?

Pain that started while taking simvastatin (Zocor) is hampering a reader's ability to continue regular workouts and get enough exercise.
Back ache back pain backache

Statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs are a mainstay of treatment for heart disease. But many people find it difficult to stick with their treatment. They may complain that medicines such as simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor) or rosuvastatin (Crestor) causes joint or muscle pain. It doesn’t help when the doctor says such a side effect is impossible, or that it must be psychosomatic.

Does Simvastatin (Zocor) Cause Joint Pain?

Q. I started taking 10 mg of simvastatin (Zocor) four years ago. At that time I was in good physical condition. I would exercise regularly after work. Since that time I have aged rapidly and am not capable of working out due to pain in my back, right hip and leg.

I have been to a great number of doctors, and they have found no reason for the pain. I regularly get cortisone and nerve-burning treatments in my lower back.

I recently had my simvastatin prescription increased to 20 mg per day and almost immediately my symptoms increased and went into my other hip and leg also. I have an appointment with my doctor scheduled, and now I am thinking the simvastatin could be the reason for all of my problems.

I will write again when and if I get some answers. I would like to thank everyone on this website for all the helpful information you have posted.

Statin Drugs May Cause Joint and Muscle Pain:

A. We cannot answer your question whether your statin has caused the pains in your back, hips and legs. We can only say that all statins are capable of causing muscle pain and weakness. The pains can occur almost anywhere including hands, shoulders, neck, back, legs, feet and knees.

We have received so many reports of similar problems to this website that we don’t know where to begin. Here are just a few examples:

Lyn reported:

“I know dozens of people who take statins. Most of them were always active at work and home. Now everyone of these people, me included, complain of aches and pains in muscles and joints. Some days my legs feel like the won’t support me. My arms and shoulders feel like I climbed a mountain. I don’t even feel like weeding my rose garden.

“My doctor, my wife’s doctor, and my mother’s doctor (all different people) all swear that the statins are not causing the problem. Side effects listed on all statins include muscle pain – guess they can’t read. Another problem we all have is extreme fatigue. This group of people was otherwise healthy and active, but now some of them feel like they should be in the old folks home.

“Since my cholesterol is very low now, I am trying to talk my doctor into weaning me off the statins. I’m hoping he does and I can feel like a human being again instead of a zombie.”

JAM wrote:

“My husband’s doctor, an internal medicine specialist, prescribed a statin drug which he was on for about a year. My husband had horrible aches and pain every day, had trouble sleeping and he also developed neuropathy. He has been off the statin for over a year and still has all the problems related to it.

“My concern is that his doctor just puts his patients on a pill and does not take any side effects into consideration simply just says pop this pill. My husband won’t question his doctor but I certainly do.”

Another reader had trouble with leg pain and weakness:

“Muscle pain can mean different things to different people. I was on statins (Lipitor) for years and complained to my doc about muscle pain. The long muscles from hip to ankle are so sore that I can’t bear to touch them.

“I have been off statins for two years and there is no relief from the pain. Leg muscles are also weak, making stairs very difficult. Will this muscle sensitivity ever go away?”

One woman had a horror story:

“My husband started taking simvastatin (Zocor) 5 years ago. The first time he started to notice tingling in his left arm and muscle weakness, we told his doctor, and he said it was not what we saw in the list of side effects in commercials on TV, which said if you notice these symptoms, you should tell doctor-as we did, but he still denied it.

“What we don’t understand is why his doctor started him on such a high dose: 80 mg. Most people I have talked to were started on 10 mg or 20 mg. He then totally lost the use of his arm. We then had other medical problems that needed to be taken care after we started to see a neurologist who thought it may be a pinched nerve.

“To make this short, because there is so much more, four years later my husband had a biopsy done, in May of this year and has been told he has ALS.

“He stopped taking Zocor for 6 months, but I think if we had known about these statins and if his doctor would have been more honest about the side effects and listened more to us about the symptoms, my husband would have stopped taking the drug immediately and would not be fighting for his life at 58 years old.

“I think anyone who is on any of these statins should make sure that there are no other safe options, unlike my husband who trusted his doctor. I hope this helps even one person to have a choice and to know all the true side effects.

“Thank you and I hope that the F.D.A will take a closer look into these statins that I believe are causing motoneuron diseases!”

Is There a Link to ALS?

The FDA denies that there is any connection between statins and ALS or any other serious motor neuron disease. The story has not disappeared, however. You can read more of what we have written here.

And please share your own story below. We want to hear all sides of the statin story.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Was taking simvastatin 80mg daily end up in hospital with severe pain (felt like someone had stabbed me in front of right leg above knee )staff fobbed me off told me I had bulging disc! I stopped taking statins for one week immediately the pain eased but unfortunately still have a little pain now taking 10 mg

I have been taking 80mg a day for 12 years with no problems.

One lesser-known side effect of statins is that statins can lower CoQ10 levels by up to 40% http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S156772490700061X

Low CoQ10 levels can be a concern because CoQ10 helps promote healthy heart function. This is because CoQ10 plays an important role in the production of 95% of the energy used by the cells in our body.
(Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130824072440/http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10)

The addition of a CoQ10 supplement to statin drug therapy can help rebuild CoQ10 levels. However, CoQ0 has poor absorption, therefore, you should choose one that is both water and fat-soluble which is better absorbed by the body than regular CoQ10.
(Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Plasma+coenzyme+Q10+response+to+oral+ingestion+of+coenzyme+Q10+formulation).

You can add me to the list of the painful! I’ve been taking Simvastatin now for a couple years and never thought there was any correlation to my aches and pain. I just figured now that I just turned 65 this was a little RA coming on!

Sometimes my legs aches so much I can barely get up from my chair and even visits to the toilet can be uncomfortable as I have to use my arms to lower myself slowly on and off the throne! When lunching with some friends today, they noticed how slowly I walked and how I had to use my arms to anchor into my dining chair!

One gal suggested I quit taking my 20 mg pill for the next couple of weeks to see if there is any improvement. I there is a natural alternative I’m all ears!

After a three-way bypass operation (CABG) and 13 years on three different statins, side effects began to worry me. No muscle pain, as others have reported, but significant memory fog or failure in everyday situations caught me off-guard. Lethargy, and a lack of energy became daily annoyances that couldn’t be attributed solely to old age.

Then there was the mild depression – unusual and disconcerting to a normally happy guy. After discovering Dr. Kilmer S. McCully’s book The Heart Revolution and Dr. Duane Graveline’s book Lipitor, Thief of Memory, I decided it was in my best interest to end my statin consumption. My doctors resisted the idea, but lowered the dosage. The memory fog continued, though infrequently, as it always had been.

Finally, I decided to ignore their advise, eliminate all statin use and resume a normal lifestyle, regardless of the consequences. After two more years I can finally say that I am the happy and energetic person I used to be. I no longer visit a cardiologist, and my PCP and I still have a good relationship, though he is concerned about the consequences of my choice. I tell him, I’m 76, and I’ve had a good life. What does it matter if it ends tomorrow?

Add me to tha same list.

I can’t believe how I’ve gone down hill so fast since I’ve been on ZOcor and Gaberpentine.
Finally found a doctor who is honest. As soon as I told her about all the problems I’m having with my muscles and my hands and right hip. And that I feel so confused and tired she brought up these two medicines which she didn’t know I was on.

She said these are definitely all the side effects of these two medicines. She has seen it over and over again.
She is helping me work off of them. But, I didn’t think to ask how long all theses side effects will last. I’m suppose to have my right hip replaced in May.

Wondering now if it would of been nessasary if seventeen years ago I wouldn’t of been put on these medications.
Hard lesson learned but I will research over and over when being put on any prescriptions.
I have a sister older then I and refuses to take any medication and she runs circles around me and cracked her back years ago cleaning trees off of their property.
My point is people we are being over medicated by people that don’t have our best interest at hand.
And to the ones of you that are not being affected by these, great, but please be careful and consider your health down the road. Or just ask your doctor about the side effects these drugs can have down the road.
I’m only expressing my situation.

I was on Zocor for nine years and it almost totally destroyed my body. My fingers look like I have Rheumatoid Arthritis but I don’t. I’ve got multiple joint and muscle problems, have had a total hip, knee, and shoulder replacement and may need a fusion in my back.

Even though I’ve been off it and many other prescription drugs for the last 13 years, I still hurt. Side effects from all the drugs caused me to gain a lot of weight when I had never been overweight in my life. Just the last year, I had weight loss surgery, a knee and shoulder replaced, and having my other knee replaced in May 2017.

There’s an article called, “The Cholesterol Myth” and anyone taking or thinking about taking statin drugs should read it. Also, check into the “Framingham Heart Study.” They proved that people over 50 with high cholesterol live longer and are less likely to get Alzheimer’s. I won’t even let them check my cholesterol. They put in my chart that I’m allergic to it. The truth is that everyone is “allergic” to it.

statins cross the blood brain barrier and ,in fruit fly nerve cells anyhow, cause bump like growths on nerve cell according to a researcher in Arizona However a small study at John Hopkins indicated that statins agumented the anti cancer effect of an anti cancer drug on brain tumors.

Sorry, I don’t know how to attach the articles to my comment, but they can be googled. My point is that statins are very powerful drugs with potential for neurological side effects and prescribers should stop listening to the drug reps and start listening to the patient. Liver enzyme testing should be done whenever there is a suspicion that muscle pain or weakness could be a statin side effect. I have two sisters who developed liver problems while on statins.

I’m grateful for all those who have reported their statin side effects over the years. I won’t be taking them!

I had been taking Crestor for several years and did have muscle tightness and some pains in the legs and other areas. I starting take Co-Enz Co 10 and a lot of that went away. But the more I have read about the connections of it and some of the other meds I am taking to type 2 diabetes I decided to stop taking it after my last blood work my sugar level was up.

I eat a very good diet, no sugar, no sweets, little bread and white carbs, good fats. Plus I walk about 3 miles at day 5 to 6 days a weeks at 18 to 19 minutes a mile. So the blood sugar got my attention.

Also if you have dry eye issues…my eyes have gotten better. So not sold on Crestor. But I do think since I have 3 stents!!! What alternatives or has it been over marketed??

Statins caused me severe muscle pain. I was very active but after one month of taking Prevastatin I could hardly walk or use my hands. My husband took Simivastin was in terrible pain.

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